As we grow older our priorities and circumstances change: people get married, children can arrive, relationships break down and our financial positions alter over time. Through all these life stages we want to be assured that those we care about are protected.
The vast majority of people put off making a Will for a variety of reasons, either believing that the people they would wish to inherit will automatically do so, or because they don’t think it is relevant to them at this particular time.
The reality is that you can put off making a Will until it is too late and this poses all sorts of problems for the people left behind and could mean that some or all of your inheritance either goes to the wrong person or to the state.
To appreciate the consequences of not making a will, it can be helpful to know what would happen if you was to die without writing a will. This is called “dying intestate” and it can cause a lot of problems and stress for your loved ones left behind at a difficult time. Here are some of the issues from dying intestate:
If a couple, married or otherwise, want to make almost identical Wills, perhaps leaving everything to each other on the first death and, if they have any, to their children when the surviving partner dies, then they may wish to draw up what are known as Mirror Wills. These are practically identical in almost every way, except for the name of the testator and maybe their individual funeral wishes.
However, it’s important to note that they must be separate legal documents, so effectively they are two separate wills but with similar contents. The respective partners are usually named as sole beneficiary on the first death and the same beneficiaries are included on the second death and will be apportioned the same benefit in each Will. That way, for the purpose of succession, it is not impacted by the order in which the couple dies.
If your circumstances have changed you may need to update your existing Will to reflect this. Marriage, or entering a civil partnership, is just an example of an event that may cause your will to be nullified. There may be other events, such as divorce or dissolution of a civil partnership which mean that you will want to change your Will.
Even if there has been no apparent change in your circumstances we would recommend a review of your Will every 2 years as well as whenever your personal circumstances change.There may also be changes in tax rules or other legislation. We can help you update an existing Will or if you already have a Will with us.
A Will is a legal document that clearly sets out your wishes for the distribution of your estate after your death. Having a clear, legally valid and up-to-date Will is the best way to help ensure that your assets are protected and distributed according to your wishes.
mirror wills consist of two separate documents that are almost identical. The surviving partner is usually named as the beneficiary of the first death, and then the same beneficiaries on the original will are handed the estate upon the second person’s death.
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In the event that you became incapacitated through serious illness or injury, disability, stroke or dementia… who would you want looking after your property, finances, health and welfare?